Diversity: Georgetown chamber’s new director a ‘Jack of all trades’

GEORGETOWN — A little more than a month ago, Kevin Thompson assumed the position of Director of Operations with the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce.

The 32-year-old Sussex County native comes to the chamber armed with an employment background quite varied and diverse.

His list of work experience includes automotive body shop repair, valet parking, restaurant work, marketing and information technology, website development and even golf cart repair.

Sussex County native Kevin Thompson is the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce’s new Director of Operations.

“I’ve been all over the place and had to wear a lot of different hats, which I think kind is what led to me to here. And I think that is what kind of gave the board of directors the thought that I would be good for this position because I’ve got a pretty varied background, obviously,” said Mr. Thompson. “I’ve done a little of everything.”

After graduating from Cape Henlopen High School in 2004, Mr. Thompson opted for tech college —  Wyoming Technical Institute in Blairsville, Pa.

“I went to technical college out of high school and I got a diploma in collision and refinishing technology. It was automotive. I worked in car body shops in various roles for seven or eight years. I worked in a race car shop for a while building drag cars,” said Mr. Thompson. “Then I went back to Del Tech and graduated from there with an AA (Associate of Arts) in marketing. I am in the process of getting my bachelor’s from Wilmington University. As busy I have been the last few years, it’s a work in progress.”

Mr. Thompson and wife Reinie have been married for nearly nine years.

“We were high school sweethearts, so we’ve been together since I was 15,” said Mr. Thompson.

They reside in Milton. Their family includes two dogs and four cats.

Except for a couple years, Mr. Thompson’s roots have been planted in Sussex County.

“We lived in the Norfolk, Virginia area for four or five years after my wife graduated college and we were both working,” he said.

In this week’s People to Meet spotlight, Kevin Thompson.

Past work history?

“Most recently I was with Tunnell Companies — Pot-Nets, Baywood Greens. I was doing marketing and IT (information technology). I was doing a little bit of everything. I started out part-time as just doing valet. It was just a part-time job while I was still working at the body shop. Then they hired me to take care of all golf carts, like golf cart mechanic.”

“Then I started helping them in the restaurant, and with their Facebook page. They never had an in-house IT position. They gave me a lot of good opportunities and I learned a lot working with the Tunnell Companies. I got to do a lot of new things.”

“In between all of that I did an internship with Inclind. It was website development with the business development guy.”

The chamber previously had an executive director. Your role?

“I started Oct. 23. The job description has changed a little bit. This Director of Operations job is bit of a hybrid role now. I will obviously be doing everything for the chamber and handling all the chamber stuff. I am also working the town on their Main Street program. That is kind of where the hybrid part comes in as I will be working with them to help move that forward.”

“The chamber and town working together, that is only going to make it better. The chamber is here to help businesses. Main Street’s goal is to bring more business into town, so it only makes sense for us to work together on that.”

Any personal mission plans?

“I hope to be very involved with the membership. I want to be able to put a face to the chamber. We’re here to help businesses. My goal, once I kind of get things a little more under control, is to get out there and meet our business owners and talk to them and see what the chamber can do for them and what we can do better. And, of course, bring in new members.”

Wings & Wheels remains the chamber’s marquee attraction:

“Yes, that is the chamber’s biggest event of the year. That is the one we will probably spend the most time on in the coming year. Linda Price runs that. She is excited to have me help out and I am excited to help out. I have enjoyed going to that event in the past just as an attendee. So I am excited to help out with that event. Hopefully, we can make it even better and bring some new stuff to it this year and make it our best one yet.”

How about other chamber events?

“We’re going to bring a lot of our events back from last year. We’re still going to have monthly mixers. We are going to have monthly luncheons. I think last year we were alternating breakfasts and luncheons. For 2018 we are just going to do luncheons. So, we are working on setting up speakers for that now. I’m sure we may have one or two smaller new things.”

How about high school activities?

“I played football and lacrosse only in my freshman year. I have always been big into band, so I was in band from I don’t know fourth or fifth grade all the way through my senior year. I played trumpet. I played sports but after my freshman year my focus kind of shifted toward band and jazz band.”

Do you follow sports?

“The Redskins are my flavor of choice there when it comes to football. I am an Orioles fan when it comes to baseball. Football and baseball are my two big ones that I follow. I follow college football but never had a team. I watch NBA, but I don’t really have a team with them, either. And I follow NASCAR.”

Leisure time?

“Even with the animals, we like to travel. We like to go experience new things, whether it’s just going and spending a weekend in Berlin, Md. … or like we are going on a cruise in a couple weeks. So, we like to travel. We have two nephews that we like to spend time with them. They are two and three years old so any chance we get to spend time with them we like to take advantage of that.”

“We’re both very big on family. Even though we don’t have any kids of our own we do spend a lot of time with our family. Our friends are like family to us. We spend time with them.”

“We bought a house this year so obviously a lot of our time is spent painting and doing some bathroom renovations and stuff like that; projects at home. I love to cook. I do the majority of cooking at home. I worked for a friend of mine in his restaurant cooking for a while, just part-time because I liked doing it.”

Closing thoughts?

“I like building things and creating things, which kind of works in well with the chamber because I can be able to use those skills to help create new things, whether it is going to bring new members or new events or new initiatives. Hopefully, I can use those skills to do that.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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